It’s time to look at the Orange Is the New Black episode “Finger in the Dyke.” This was a standout episode for the season than cemented my crush on Big Boo.
The episode opened with Suzanne screaming because she’s having nightmares about Vee, which seems to be a regular thing. Taystee has to remind her it’s just a dream — just like the last time and the time before that — to calm her back down.
Big Boo greets Pennsatucky, calling her Pennsafucky. Pennsatucky tells her that Pennsatucky is already a nickname and Big Boo responds, “There’s always room to riff.” I love her so. Pennsatucky steps up to the plate and calls her Big Boobs. They are a constant delight. Big Boo asks if she can borrow toothpaste, but Pennsatucky says she doesn’t have any because she doesn’t need any since her teeth are porcelain. Big Boo tells her she’s pretty sure that’s not how it works. She says, “Man, your parents didn’t even really do the bare minimum with you.”
Big Boo sees Pennsatucky’s fan letters from Evangelical Christians. She points out how terrifying their messages about abortion doctors going to hell are. Pennsatucky says that now that she hears it out loud, she sees her point. Big Boo notices the words “we hope you’ve received our donation” on one card. Pennsatucky tells her she actually feels bad about accepting the donations and admits she actually only shot the woman working at the abortion clinic because she hurt her feelings and she got mad. She nervously asks Big Boo, “Do you still like me?” Ugh, this friendship is too magical. Big Boo is delighted and asks, “Don’t you know what this means?” Pennsatucky sadly says, “Yeah, I’m going to hell.” Big Boo says, “No, it means you are the normal one. I mean, come on, some bitch insulted you so you shot her? Now to me, that makes a hell of a lot more sense than shooting a complete stranger you demonize for your own agenda.” She tells Pennsatucky her Evangelical supporters are the nutbags. Pennsatucky says she gets it: she needs to stop taking their money. Big Boo tells her, “No, no, that’s not what I said.”
In a flashback, Big Boo’s mother tries to force her to wear a dress. Her father comes in to see what her mom is upset about. Big Boo indicates the dress and says, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Her father says, “Okay, enough with the fuckings. We get that you’re a teenager.” He says that it’ll make her mom happy. She says it’s stupid that she has to pretend to be something she’s not to make someone else happy. Her dad tells her to do this so her mom has a school picture and then she can continue wearing clothes from the boys’ section every other day of the year. He tells her, “Do this for your father who has to live with your mother, please.” She says, “Fine, but you’re both assholes.” He says, “There’s my sweet little buttercup.”
Big Boo works with Jane Ingalls to bone up on Christianity. Big Boo references Les Mis and Jane says, “Thou shalt not make musical references.” When Big Boo asks why not, Pennsatucky says because it’s the gayest thing on the planet. Big Boo replies, “That is an ugly stereotype about gay men. See, everybody knows my people are stage managers, not performers.” That is beautiful. Jane asks if Big Boo is prepared for this since the church is all hate all the time. Big Boo says, “No one is talking about conceding my hard-earned position as lord of the lesbians. I’m just embracing the grey areas to make a buck.”
“Baby Got Back” starts playing, taking us into a flashback of Big Boo at a lesbian bar. She is wearing a henley tee and looks just fantastic. She sees a hot girl named Tracy and gives her a drink. Later, she takes the girl outside and kisses her outside the bar. Big Boo has so much game and I’m crushing so hard. This should be the show. She asks Tracy to come back to her place, but before they get there, some guy walking by calls them dykes and Big Boo grabs him and yells at him, scaring him off. Tracy no longer wants to go home with her, saying, “You can’t blame a stupid kid when you’re the poster child for all things butch.” Big Boo calls Tracy a “prissy homophobic self-hating bitch.”
Sophia does Big Boo’s hair and makeup to get her ready to meet with a guy from the church. Big Boo stares at herself and softly says, “I look like my mother.” She looks like she might cry.
In a flashback, we see Big Boo having sex with a lucky lady. The girl says, “I love you.” Big Boo replies, “Says the girl who just came.” This lady replies that this is a perfectly valid reason to love someone. They seem pretty happy and snuggly until the woman wants to talk to Big Boo about her mom. Big Boo replies, “Remember when we were fucking? Gee, that was fun.” The woman replies, “Your mom is sick and you’re not going to see her? That’s not normal.” Big Boo replies, “That’s right. I’m not normal. I’m queer. Did you not know we were lesbos?” The woman she’s with tells her that she doesn’t have to hold onto this and asks, “Isn’t forgiving her easier than fighting the world?”
As the flashback continues, Big Boo visits the hospital where her mother is staying. Her father doesn’t want her to see her mom. She asks if he’s saying the sight of her “dyke” daughter will make her worse. Her dad asks, “Would it kill you to put on some other clothes before you see her?” Big Boo says she’s been her mother’s daughter for 42 years and she could’ve taken some of that time to accept who she is. Her father says, “I understand that whatever this is is important to you, but it’s a costume, that’s all … no one gets the privilege of being themselves all the time.” He tells her, “If you want to go in there and upset her, I’m not stopping you, but you have to decide if your costume is worth what it’s costing you.” She tells him, “I have had to fight for this all my life. All my life, dad. Strangers, girlfriends, even my own parents. All asking me to be something that I’m not. Do you have any idea what that feels like? Like your whole fucking existence is being denied, like you would be better off if you were invisible? I refuse to be invisible, daddy. Not for you or mom, not for anybody.” She softly says “sorry” and walks away without seeing her mom.
In the present, she goes to visitation to see the reverend who’s visiting. She quotes Bible verses against homosexuality. He asks what it was that turned her to the light. She says, “Reverend, Tiffany says that you might be able to take up a collection to help support me as I continue on my path to decency?” The reverend says that her story about leaving the path of depravity should make an inspiring story. She immediately regrets this and tells him, “Suck my big fat dyke dick.”
Pennsatucky and Big Boo sit around eating candy together. Pennsatucky says she’s glad she’s back to normal and that some ladies just aren’t meant to look like ladies. Big Boo says that her mother would disagree. Then she says, “I wish I’d said goodbye to her.” Big Boo complains about having extra work duty after blowing up at the visiting reverend. She says, “I just showed them who I really am. A big, stupid, stubborn, pussy-loving dyke.” Pennsatucky says that if that’s who she is, there’s no use fighting it and if she can’t fight it, she might as well embrace it. Otherwise you’re living in purgatory. Big Boo says, “Here’s to Heaven or Hell and nothing in between. Boo-ya. Probably Hell, though, who the fuck am I kidding?” Big Boo adds that she’s going to get Pennsatucky to start brushing and flossing.
In the final scene, Suzanne sees Taystee sleeping. She crawls into bed with her and snuggles up happily. Taystee wakes up and cries out, “Hell nah!” Suzanne goes back to her bed and says, “I hear you.”
Photo Courtesy of Netflix